Kola region, of which Murmansk is the capital, is a vast region. Once you have succumbed to the dynamic urban life of Murmansk and its many attractions, set out to the adjacent areas, famed for their pristine nature, myriads of winter sports opportunities, mouth-watering cuisine, ancient exotic culture of the nomadic aborigines Sami, the proximity of one of the world’s oceans, and the breath-taking natural electrical phenomenon, the capering delicate colors of the aurora borealis.
The best way to take in all the main attractions in a short time is to get a Northern Lights package. On a trip to see Northern Lights by one of the experienced Russian travel agencies, you can enjoy the dancing palette of the northern lights in the Russian north.
For example on one of the leading Murmansk tours on offer, by Pradiz, the Russian Travel Agency, you can visit:
- the bustling Arctic capital, Murmansk;
- villages inhabited by the Sami and Pomory, Russian settlers of the North;
- and a scenic mountainous region of the Khibiny, paying a visit to a gob-smacking Snow Village.
All this with comfort and impeccable service.
See the Northern Lights in Murmansk
The best way to explore the region is the following. Arrive in Murmansk, where the modern and Soviet architecture offers a pleasant backdrop for the dynamic urban life of this kinetic Arctic transport hub. Head out on a winter night and feel the white glimmering snow crunching under your feet, reflecting the shine of the moon beside the tender glow of aurora borealis.
What can be more romantic than winter sports under the northern lights’ colorful dance. Apart from many ice-rinks and other sports venues Murmansk and its close environs offer a comfortable ski resort “Ogni Murmanska” on its outskirts where it is possible to speed down from almost 2km ski runs, places to dog sled, and locales to ice-fish and even hunt.
The tour by Pradiz includes a visit to the city’s main landmarks, often commemorating the sailors’ of the past and present. Murmansk is an ice-free port, fourth in the country, and a place where allure of the sea life is exuded by any other of the city’s sites. Also on the program are visits to the sites helping to form the mental image of the culture of the region in all its aspects, and a visit to the world’s first nuclear-powered surface-ship, ice-breaker Lenin.
Encounter the Pomory
For the most complete exploration of the region, make it out of town to the Pomory village, Teriberka. The seaside hamlet is located on the coast of the Arctic Ocean and is inhabited by the Pomory, the intrepid explorers of the North, who are exceptionally good at sailing, fishing, hunting of land and sea mammals, and traditional Russian north crafts. Its forlorn appearance oozes out provincial seaside romance and the surrounding landscape amazes you with its majestic beauty. The ocean is near, and you can have lunch there like a true Pomor, that is tucking into sandwiches, pieces of Teriberka cake, and swilling hot and fragrant tea. Once night has descended, head out and chase the northern lights; they are at their most vivid and dancy if watched from Teriberka, one of the best places to see the northern lights.
Visit a Sami Village
From the seaside travel to the Khibiny mountains. On your way pop into the Sami village, where it is possible for you to see the how these reindeer-herders, hunters and fishermen live. There you can have taken the photos of yourself in traditional Sami dress, get a photograph of yourself with local Arctic animals, such as Arctic fox, huskies, and others, and communicate with the travel-loving nomads.
Try the Arctic cuisine. You sub-polar meal must include the following:
Ukha, the Russian fish soup, Lovozero bread, venison, and many other menu-items that will tickle the most jaded of palates. At night gaze at the frisky undulations of the aurora borealis; the Sami village and the not-far-away Khibiny mountains being arguably the best place for northern lights.
Visit The Snow Village in Kirovsk region
Uncover the beauteous surroundings of Kirovsk, the capital of the Khibiny region on your trip to see the northern lights Primeval tundra has given way to the idyllic mountain setting that gives an opportunity to ski, snowboard and snow-hike. Kirovsk, lies next to a first-class ski-resort, and, besides, offers a unique chance to have a look at the North of Russia’s Soviet architecture, a somewhat bleak but still imposing example of what once was one of the world’s most avant-garde architectural styles. Kirovsk is one of the best places to see the northern lights.
To see the true Russian magic, strike out for the Snow Village, a cluster of first-rate sports and recreation facilities situated next to a unique ice-and-snow bound network of passages that from late December till late April houses an array of one-of-its kind pieces of winter art. Uncover the exquisite beauty of snow and ice sculptures at the village and meet the Snow girl and Father Frost, incarnations of the amicable spirits of the Russian winter.
Note: If visiting in 23-29th of January you can attend a festival “Snegoled”, with winter artists from all round the world participating in the creation of pieces of snow-and-ice art, sharing their expertise with the on-lookers, and often giving workshops.
Then if hard-pressed for time return to Murmansk for your flight back home.
Note that all of the sights mentioned in this article are visited on the Northern Lights Tour by Pradiz, a Russian Travel Agency, which has been made and done by the experts on the region and experienced travel operators. Otherwise, prolong your stay and give in to the Russian North wonder-lust.
In short, visiting the Russian North is a unique experience offering plenty of locations to visit. For sure it is best to visit the region taking your time and not being in a rush. But if willing to see all the top destinations in less than a week’s time, opt for a Northern lights package tour, crafted by the Russian north travel experts and offering an inclusive, informative, and energetic travelling experience.
- Top 10 Things to do in Murmansk in winter
- Top 5 places to visit in Russia in winter
- Visit Kola Peninsula, the Land of Wonders
- Visit Snow Village in Kirovsk
- Best Northern Lights tours in Russia